“Come worship with us” is certainly a friendly invitation. We certainly want people to come worship with us. We should invite people to worship, but we should be more concerned with inviting them to see Jesus. There are many people who already come to worship who do not really know Jesus. Invite people to Christ and they will invite themselves to worship. Philip found Nathanael and said, “we have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, ‘Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said unto him, ‘Come and see’.” (John 1:44-46). Jesus invited people to “come” but when he extended that invitation it was always an invitation to discipleship, sacrifice, and service rather than just an hour of worship (Matthew 4:19; Matthew 16:24; Luke 14:27). Let us invite people to Christ so that they will want to worship him appropriately as Lord of their lives.
Among the many transitions which occur as the New Testament is ratified in the death and resurrection of Christ, is the shift from disciples “coming to Jesus” to disciples “going for Jesus”. The book of Acts can be outlined by the mission of the disciples given by Christ is Acts 1:8: “you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.” In the second chapter we see that salvation was for “you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as The Lord our God shall call unto him” (Acts 2:39). Jesus intended for the Gospel to progress beyond generational and geographic lines, and that what the book of Acts records. Acts 6:1 records that “the number of the disciples was multiplying.” Acts 8 records the persecution of the church which gave opportunity for the disciples to go everywhere preaching the word (Acts 8:4). In this same chapter we see that the apostles learned that the Gospel had been received in Samaria (Acts 8:14) so they sent Peter and John to help in spread of the Gospel (Acts 8:15). Jesus’ plan was being fulfilled. The Gospel had spread in Jerusalem, Judaea, and now in Samaria.
In order for the Gospel to continue into uttermost parts of the earth, God raised up a man name Saul. When he obeyed the Gospel (Acts 22:16), Paul devoted his life to the service of his Lord (Galatians 2:20; Philippians 3:7-14). The remarkable work of Paul has been an inspiration to every Christian. Because of Paul and the other New Testament Christians, a mob in Thessalonica said, “These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also” (Acts 17:6). Studying the life of New Testament Christians reveals that they repeatedly went to seek and save, but when did they ever invite anyone to a worship service?
They went because God commanded them to go (Matthew 28:19-20; Luke 24:46-47; Acts 1:8). Are we not commanded to go today? President Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural address is famous for its display of beautiful rhetoric. The nation was inspired by these famous quotes: “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty.” “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.” The most popular quote is “And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” My favorite quote is probably the least well known. In the conclusion of the speech, President Kennedy said, “With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”
God’s work is our very own. He has commissioned us (Mark 16:15); employs us (1 Corinthians 3:5-8); demands faithful stewardship from us (Matthew 24:45-51); and best of all he is with us in the greatest work on earth (Matthew 28:19-20). Let us be about our Father’s business–seeking the lost.
your grateful preacher,